Do you struggle to follow through on resolutions year after year? Whether it's getting back to your college weight, building enough muscles to fill your T-shirts, getting your blood sugar under control, or any other fitness-related goal that you want to achieve, a year should be ample time to reach it.
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Of course, you're not alone. But, if you continue to set resolutions and fail to accomplish them, it's time to turn your track record around. Here are three tips to help you analyze any mistakes you've made in the past to help you succeed in 2013.
1) Unreasonable Goals
If you have been inactive for the past 15 to 20 years and set a goal to lose all the weight and fat gained during that time frame in three months (let's say 60 pounds), then you set yourself up for failure. A smarter goal is to say, "In three months I will lose 10 pounds." It's fine to have a large goal, like losing 60 pounds in a year. But, then break it down to help you achieve that goal. Losing 10 pounds in three months is doable.
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2) Unreasonable Methods
If you're new to exercise, or haven't workout in years, then jumping into a 90-minute intense workout program will wear you out very quickly—it might even turn you off completely.
Instead of jumping into something extreme, start off slow. The first few workouts you encounter will probably leave you sore, but don't let that keep you from pursuing your goal.
For the first few weeks start off with some basic joint-mobility exercises along with moderate speed. As you get stronger you can then gradually add in strength training and more cardio. It takes time to build up that strength.
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Nutrition plays a big part, too. If you've been eating fast food all your life and you quit cold turkey, you might be setting yourself up for disaster. If you allow yourself to have your favorite junk food (cheat food) once a week, but cooked healthier, then it will make eating for the week more pleasant. So if you're craving a burger, use lean meat and make it at home.
3) Prepare for the Unexpected
Let's face it, life doesn't go as planned. But, if you're prepared for the unexpected, then you'll be in OK shape. For example, if you can't make it to the gym because you're out of town, not problem. Instead, do body-weight exercises. Pushups, sit ups, planks, lunges and squats make for a great circuit workout. Or, you can lace up your shoes and go for a walk or run.
Work is bound to be crazy at times. In fact, you might not have time to make it to the gym. Create some shorter workouts to fall back on. Two 15-minute workouts are better than none.
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Always keep healthy snacks on hand. If you're starving and running out the door, then reach for something healthy like a granola bar, apple or yogurt. If you have healthy options that are ready to grab, then you won't put your diet in jeopardy.
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Stay in shape in a fitness class.